I’m sure by now you have all heard of minimalism, de-cluttering, and capsule wardrobes, since all these terms have all become popular trends. It is the idea that you don’t need physical things to be happy. Many people site the book The Life Changing Magic of Tiddying or the documentary Minimalism a Documentary About the Important Things as a kick off point of discovering this new movement.
For me, I am not a minimalist, nor do I want to be, but I do like the idea of de-cluttering. This started when my parents asked my siblings to clean out all our storage from their home. After going through boxes and boxes of old items, I realized how much crapped I stored. Things that I thought I would cherish forever became insignificant with time. So that evening I went to my closet and for the first time saw it with new eyes. The next thing I knew I had 8 trash bags full of things I no longer cared for. To this day I try be less attached to items, since I know with time they may no longer be needed, useful, or cared for.
Here are 5 key things try to remember
- Only have things you love or use. I read this somewhere and it resonated in me. Now when I go though my stuff I ask myself do I love it and/or do I use it?
- Know your lifestyle & personal style. Many of us buy things that we think our fantasy lives will use. We buy clothes, kitchen tools, beauty products in hopes that we will use them one day. I use to fall into this trap again and again. Now I really think realistically what I use and apply logic when buying things. For example, I wanted to buy a coffee maker until I realized I prefer going out for coffee. Understanding you preferences helps with buying things you will regret later. If you do want to make changes to your life, start with one thing at a time and make it a point to use it.
- Force yourself to use it before getting rid of it. This is similar to the point above, but this goes for things that you already own. There are tons of beauty products or clothes that I purchased but never used and feel bad getting rid of. So now I make a full intent to use them even forcefully. Sometimes I grow to love the item and other times it becomes easier to rip off the band-aid.
- Take your time getting rid of things; this could mean days, months, or even years. There isn’t a rush on when you fall out of love with something or an expiration date on items you don’t use. You shouldn’t feel like you have to get rid everything at once. For example, I have a dress that holds some semi-significance to me. Although I no longer care to wear it I know with time my emotional attachment will go away, so I’m just waiting for when I’m ready to pass it along.
- Understand why you are getting rid of the item. Before I get rid of anything I try to think of why I didn’t love the item to begin with or why I used the product up quickly. By taking the time to understand my life pattern allows me to make better purchases in the future. Most people get rid of things without taking a second to realize why it didn’t work for them or really give it a try.